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Closing Attorney vs. Real Estate Attorney: Understanding the Differences

Founding Member of Moshes Law, P.C.
During his years of practice, Yuriy has concentrated in litigation and real estate transactions as his areas of expertise.

When you’re buying or selling a property, a closing attorney helps make sure everything goes smoothly. They focus on transferring ownership and avoiding any problems that could cause trouble for you. Getting help from a closing attorney at the right time can prevent issues and make sure you’re following all the rules. 

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But there’s also another kind of lawyer called a real estate attorney. They do more than just help with the closing process. They handle all sorts of legal stuff related to real estate, like complicated problems or providing legal advice. You might need a real estate attorney if you’re dealing with tricky legal issues or if you want help throughout the entire buying or selling process.

It’s important to know that these types of lawyers aren’t always separate. Real estate attorneys can also handle closing tasks really well. But it’s essential to understand what makes a good closing attorney. Whether you’re buying, selling, or doing any real estate deal, knowing what a closing attorney does can help you pick the right one for your needs and make smart choices to reach your goals.

At Moshes Law, P.C., our team of real estate attorneys in New York knows how to handle property deals in New York City. We offer personalized help to make sure your deal goes smoothly and that your interests are protected. 

What is a Closing Attorney?

In New York City, a closing attorney is a legal expert who specializes in finalizing real estate deals. They’re there to make sure everything follows the law, protect their clients’ interests, and give legal advice during property transfers.

Closing attorneys in New York really know their stuff when it comes to the city’s real estate laws. They understand all the local rules and what’s needed to transfer property ownership properly. Whether you’re buying, selling, or refinancing property, these attorneys are crucial for making sure everything goes smoothly and legally.

Their role is vital in guiding both individuals and businesses through the complexities of closing deals. They help reduce legal risks, ensure everything is done correctly, and ultimately make sure the transfer of property ownership is successful.

The Closing Process in NYC

Closing a real estate deal in New York City involves several key steps. First, the buyer and seller agree on terms and a closing date, then sign a contract. Next, the buyer’s team checks the property and title for any issues, while both sides’ closing attorneys prepare legal documents and ensure everything follows the law. Before closing day, the attorneys calculate the funds needed for things like mortgages and deeds. On the closing date, money is exchanged, ownership changes are recorded, and important documents are signed by both parties.

Closing attorneys make sure the deal goes smoothly and follows all the rules and terms agreed upon. If there’s a problem, they can help protect their clients’ interests by taking legal action.

While you don’t have to have a real estate lawyer in New York, it’s highly recommended for closing. They can make the process easier and safer by handling important documents and spotting any potential issues.

Differences Between Closing Attorney &. Real Estate Attorney

Closing attorneys and real estate attorneys do similar jobs when it comes to buying or selling property, and they sometimes do the same tasks. Closing attorneys focus mainly on finalizing property deals, which is just one part of what a real estate attorney does. Here are some key differences:

  • Specialization: Both types of attorneys know about real estate laws, but real estate attorneys know more about the legal stuff involved in property deals, like solving problems or making special contracts.
  • Representation: Closing attorneys mostly help during the closing part of the deal. Real estate attorneys help with everything, from start to finish, like talking with others, solving problems, and handling legal stuff.
  • Extra Legal Help: Real estate attorneys can do more than just closing deals. They can help with other legal things related to property, like rental agreements or legal disputes. Closing attorneys mainly focus on closing deals and making sure everything is legal.
  • Costs: The fees for closing attorneys and real estate attorneys can be different. Closing attorneys might charge a flat fee because they focus on just closing deals. Real estate attorneys might charge more depending on how much work they have to do for you.

Sometimes people think closing attorneys are a separate kind of attorney, but they’re really just one part of what a real estate attorney can do. It’s important to talk openly with your attorney about what you need so they can help you the best they can.

Closing Attorneys vs. Real Estate Agents

During the closing of a real estate deal, many buyers and sellers might think that having a real estate agent is enough to handle everything smoothly, so they might hesitate to hire a closing attorney. However, there are important differences between what closing attorneys and real estate agents do:

  • Legal Experience: Closing attorneys are legally trained professionals who know New York real estate laws really well. They give legal advice, make sure everything follows the law, and handle any complicated legal parts of the deal. Real estate agents focus more on marketing the property, negotiating, and managing the transaction, but they might not know as much about the legal side of things.
  • Representation: Closing attorneys mainly represent their clients’ legal interests throughout the closing process. They make sure their clients’ rights are protected and that everything in the contract is fair. Real estate agents usually represent either the buyer or the seller and focus on getting the best deal for their client. They’re more about marketing and negotiating than legal stuff.
  • Scope of Service: Closing attorneys handle all the legal parts of the closing and sometimes the whole transaction if they’re real estate attorneys. They review contracts, check titles, negotiate, and prepare documents. Real estate agents can help with the process, but they don’t handle legal stuff as deeply.
  • Conflict Resolution: Closing attorneys are good at sorting out any conflicts or arguments that come up during the closing process. Real estate agents might help with smaller issues, but for big legal problems, they usually suggest getting advice from an attorney.
  • Professional Responsibility: Closing attorneys have to follow strict rules about how they behave professionally and have to act in their clients’ best interests. Real estate agents also have rules to follow, but they’re set by real estate associations, not the law.

It’s important to understand that while sometimes a closing attorney might also do some of the work of a real estate agent, their roles are different, and each brings different skills to the table.

The Role and Responsibilities of a New York Closing Attorney

When you buy or sell a house or business place, it’s usually a very exciting time. You start by looking for the right place and talking to people who might want to buy or sell. Negotiating can be thrilling, too. But then comes the legal stuff, which can be a real buzzkill.

Luckily, in New York City, there are lawyers who specialize in closing deals like these. They make sure everything goes smoothly and follows the law. Here’s what they do:

  • Checking Everything’s Legal: They make sure the whole process follows New York laws and regulations, including fair housing rules.
  • Reviewing and Making Documents: They go over all the paperwork, like the agreement between the buyer and seller, the deed that transfers ownership, and other legal papers.
  • Helping with Communication and Bargaining: They talk to everyone involved—buyers, sellers, agents, and banks—to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. They also help settle any arguments that come up.
  • Investigating: They look into the property’s history to make sure there are no surprises that could mess up the deal.
  • Setting the Closing Date: They make sure all the parties agree on when the deal will be finalized and that everything is ready for that day.

So, if you’re buying or selling property in New York, it’s a good idea to have one of these lawyers on your side. They can help you navigate the legal stuff and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney in New York?

Navigating the intricate New York housing market necessitates professional guidance when buying or selling property. Unlike in other states, New York mandates the involvement of a real estate attorney in all transactions due to the intricate legal landscape.

The significance of a real estate attorney cannot be overstated. They are uniquely qualified to offer legal counsel throughout the transaction, handling crucial tasks such as drafting contracts, overseeing down payments, and conducting title searches. Moreover, they play a pivotal role in calculating closing costs and advising on essential legal documents like deeds and mortgage agreements.

Local expertise is indispensable in New York real estate dealings. While state laws provide a framework, local attorneys possess nuanced knowledge of city or county-specific regulations that could impact the process. This local insight, coupled with legal proficiency, provides clients with a distinct advantage.

Benefits of Hiring a New York City Closing Attorney

Hiring a closing attorney in New York City comes with a bunch of good stuff for folks and businesses doing real estate deals. Let’s break down why:

  • Protecting Your Legal Interests: These lawyers know New York real estate laws inside out. They make sure everything in your deal follows the law. They check contracts and papers, and do their homework to catch any legal problems.
  • Minimizing Risks and Errors: Real estate deals can get tricky, with lots of chances for mistakes. Closing attorneys are like experts in spotting and fixing problems. They look into property titles, review contracts, and talk on your behalf to get the best deal possible. With them around, you’re less likely to run into big and costly mess-ups like title issues or contract mix-ups.
  • Streamlining the Closing Process: Closing a deal involves a lot of steps and deadlines. It’s like a big puzzle with many pieces. Hiring a closing attorney helps put all those pieces together smoothly. They handle all the organizing, talk to everyone involved, and make sure all the paperwork is right and on time. They’re like the glue that keeps everything running smoothly till the deal is done.

Working With Experienced Attorney in New York City Real Estate

A closing attorney helps make sure property transfers go smoothly and legally. They know all the rules and laws to avoid problems. Real estate attorneys do even more, offering support for the whole property transaction. Knowing when to use each type of attorney is important. They protect your rights and help with tricky legal stuff, especially as laws change.

At Moshes Law, P.C., our New York real estate attorneys can act as closing attorneys for your property deal. Whether you’re buying or selling, we can guide you through the process and make sure agreements match your goals. We can also help settle disputes and take legal action if needed.

To find out how we can help you, call Moshes Law, P.C. at (888) 231-4891 to set up a meeting.

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